Ben Lawers Range

Hillwalking route up the 7 Munros in the Lawers range, including An Stuc and Meall Garbh

Ben Lawers is the 10th highest mountain in the UK and the highest in the Southern Highlands. The mountain is at the centre of a chain of 7 Munros which fit people can walk in one day. The NTS have installed a large car-park and accessibility to this area does seem to encourage a large amount of hillwalkers to plod over the hills.

Fortunately the NTS, which owns the south side of the range, is taking steps to curb the errosion by installing and maintaining new paths.


Route outline


  Map base ©OpenStreetMap
Munros Ben Lawers
Meall a Choire Leith
Meall Corranaich
Beinn Ghlas
An Stuc
Meall Garbh
Meall Greigh
Ascent 1750m (5740ft)
Distance 19km (12m)
Time 7:30hr
Start North of Lochan na Lairige
Grid Ref : NN608378
Finish Ben Lawers Hotel
Grid Ref : NN677395
Terrain
easy hard
Nav
easy hard
Effort
easy hard
Scenery
ok fab


Ben Lawers and the other mountains in the range, have a few crags and coires, but they are predominantly grass covered with obvious paths along their crests. Some people may find the scramble on An Stuc quite tricky and a rope may help those who feel apprehensive.

Weather can be quite changeable here ! In winter or thick mist, navigation can be quite testing, particularly east of Ben Lawers and the descent from Meall Corranaich.



Route detail


Getting there »
  • On the north side of Loch Tay, this linear route starts and finishes at different points, therefore a car-shuffle at the beginning of the day avoids a long walk on the road at the end of the day.
  • A car can be left in the 'Walkers car-park' of the Ben Lawers Hotel, cost at time of writing is £5.
  • Head along the A827 to a few miles east of Killin, where a narrow road, signposted 'Bridge of Balgie' heads north into the forest.
  • This road reaches passes the Ben Lawers car-park, then climbs up to Lochan na Lairige with its large dam.
  • The start point of the hillwalking route begins by a cairn, 0.5 km north of the end of the Lochan na Lairige, where there is limited parking.
  • If parking is full, then there is space by the northern end of Lochan na Lairige, where a track heads from the roadside towards the water's edge.

Meall a'Choire Leith »
  • From the cairn just north of the northern end of Lochan na Lairige, head northwest on a recently built path.
  • The path heads up to around c600m , from where a worn and indistinct path is traced down to a small hydro dam .
  • Cross the burn to the north and below the dam and pick up another wet path to reach the burn coming down from Coire Gorm.
  • Cross this burn, then head north-east up steep grassy slopes of Meall a'Choire Leith.
  • The rate of ascent gradually easies and terrain underfoot changes to stunted heather - you're nearly on the top ! A small cairn marks Meall a'Choire Leith's summit is reached, where a good view is given onto the route's remaining Munros.

Meall Corranaich »
  • Leave Meall a'Choire Leith summit and head south to pick up a worn path travelling along the rim of Meall a'Choire Leith's eastern coire, to follow to a bealach below .
  • The path continues up the grassy crest of Meall Corranaich's northern shoulder to meet the eastern source of the Allt Gleann Da-Eig, from where a fainter path is followed up to the crest of Meall Corranaich's north-western shoulder.
  • The crest narrows with the path continuing along and up to the small pile of stones marking Meall Corranaich's summit on its small grassy plateau.

Beinn Ghlas »
  • From Meall Corranaich's summit head east on a faint path following some fence-posts.
  • The path becomes more obvious as it starts to zig-zag downhill. There is a bit of clambering down rock on the way, which can be slightly tricky in winter conditions.
  • The wet bealach below Beinn Ghlas is reached and a path is crossed.
  • South-east uphill, initially on pathless ground, start hiking up fairly steep grassy slopes.
  • A faint path on loose terrain evolves into something more obvious which is then followed to the Beinn Ghlas summit . Although a decent sized Munro in its own right, Beinn Ghlas is dwarfed by mighty Ben Lawers ahead.

Ben Lawers »
  • Leave the small cairn on Beinn Ghlas behind and head north-east on a well-worn path heading gently downhill for 1km.
  • Reach the bealach below Ben Lawers, where a well constructed path heads uphill east-north-east. Errosion takes its toll on this and often the path is quite loose underfoot.
  • Ben Lawer's summit is gained with its trig point and large cairn. At weekends this is a busy place, even in winter, rain or mist. Being the highest peak in the southern highlands, the views on clear days are excellent in all directions.

An Stuc »
  • North of Ben Lawers, a worn path can be picked up heading downhill oover easy terrain.
  • After dropping around 200m, the slight rise of Creag an Fhithich which can be by-passed on the left (west) following the faint path.
  • Drop another 100m on the fairly obvious path to the bealach below An Stuc.
  • Cross the bealach and head up north-east-north on a path to the grassy summit of An Stuc .

Meall Garbh »
  • You've climbed up An Stuc's grassy benign side, but it's a different situation beyond this - the only tricky part of the route is immediately ahead !
  • Following the path on the grassy crest, it turns slightly to the right (east), do not be tempted by other more obvious worn paths aiming directly downhill. The path comes to a sharp corner, two choices here which both end up at the bealach between An Stuc and Meall Garbh...
  • Red route : immediately downhill (and slightly to the left) the path comes to a short section of scrambling. The route looks slightly daunting at first, but it's much easier than first appearances. Route-finding is obvious and well worn, but beware much of the rock is very loose.
  • Green route : come off the path at the corner and continue downhill directly ahead on grassy ground to drop to a short clamber down a rock and onto more grass, past the bottom of some scree and re-join the well worn path. This route will be very slippy if wet.
  • Alternative, rock-scrambling can be avoided completely ! From An Stuc's summit, head north-west and drop around 100m on grassy slopes. As the ground begins to level out, turn eastwards and pick up a faint path (possibly deer-trod), to contour below An Stuc. The path meets up with the paths coming down from the scamble at the col . Beware that snow covers the section of path under An Stuc in winter and through much of spring.
  • From the col, an obvious path can be followed climbing uphill on grass between slabs to the summit of Meall Garbh .

Meall Greigh »
  • Like Meall a'Choire Leith, Meall Greigh sits some distance apart from the main group of Munros in the Lawers range.
  • It is linked to Meall Garbh by line of fence-posts alongside which hugs a path.
  • From Meall Garbh's summit, follow this path and the fence-post, dropping some 250m on increasingly soggy and grassy ground to a wet bealach . Hope over some bog and peat-hags and continue following the sometimes indistinct path. Higher up, you'll pass a large and unusual erratic boulder, from where Meall Greigh's summit with its small cairn is not far.

Return to Ben Lawers Hotel »
  • From Meall Greigh's summit, head south-east-south, then south on a faint path over grass to the bump Sron Mhor .
  • Drop steeply due south to enter fairly wet and flat ground at around c500m. Continue southwards and pick up a path, passing some old sheilings (hardly visibile) on the way. Further on, reach a fence with a stile , marking the boundary of NTS land.
  • Over the stile, and into woodland, continue a very obvious worn path - beware lots of nettles in summer months ! The path reaches a farm, with sign-posts directing a route around it, to pick up a farm-track track back to the road by the Horn Carver.
  • Enjoy some food and a pint back at the Ben Lawers Hotel !




Route profile »


Maps and GPX downloads »


Weather forecasts & webcams »


Guided hillwalking events in this area »




Route photos


The Lawers range above inversion from Meall GhaordaidhThe Lawers range above inversion from Meall Ghaordaidh
Meall a'Choire Leith from Meall CorranaichMeall a'Choire Leith from Meall Corranaich
Ben Lawers from the eastBen Lawers from the east
Descending Creag an Fhithich (pic by Johnny Walker)Descending Creag an Fhithich (pic by Johnny Walker)
An Stuc from the southAn Stuc from the south
Line of fence-posts leading to Meall GreighLine of fence-posts leading to Meall Greigh




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